hose down the lawn

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wanabee

Senior Member
Japanese
Dear all,

It's hot today. I'll hose down my lawn to cool it down.

I made up the sentences. I see about 10,000 hits of "hose down the lawn" on the internet, but I'm not sure of the function of the preposition "down" in hose down.
Is it similar to down in "walk down the street"?

I would appreciate any comments.
 
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, but I watered the lawn doesn't indicate whether I used a hose. I prefer "I hosed the lawn" to "I hosed down the lawn": I can't see what the "down" adds when the thing being hosed is a lawn.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    No, I can understand "I'll hose down my lawn to cool it down" - grammatically.

    However speaking as a gardener, that's not why you hose a lawn. You hose a lawn to give water to the roots, to make up for moisture-loss through the leaves. In other words, you hose a lawn to make it wet.

    So the sentence makes grammatical sense but not horticultural sense.
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Yes, but I watered the lawn doesn't indicate whether I used a hose. I prefer "I hosed the lawn" to "I hosed down the lawn": I can't see what the "down" adds when the object of "hosed down" is a lawn.
    One/I would assume that watering the lawn requires one or more hoses/sprinklers. If you are doing it another way then one could describe how..

    GF..

    What is important? The watering of the lawn or the method of doing it?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I'd only hose down the lawn if there'd been a demolition next door and it was covered with fine debris, or if it was full of dog waste, in other words to clean the surface just as I'd hose down the yard.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I think there is some AE in the sentence, "It's hot today. I'll hose down my lawn to cool it down." As I seem to remember, AE does allow for "hosing down a yard/car/cattle/anything that needs cleaning with water under pressure."

    But, as has been pointed out by Keith above,
    "It's hot today. I'll hose down my lawn to cool it down." is grammatical but ambiguous and illogical and wrong.

    It sound as if
    (i) hosing down the lawn will prevent the day from being hot. (ii) You do not use water to cool grass but to supply it with water.

    The function of the preposition "down" in hose down is an intensifier: compare with to clean and to clean up; to lock and lock up; to close and to close down; to melt and melt down, fall and fall down; etc.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Hose down is mentioned in the WR Dictionary:
    vb
    • (sometimes followed by down) to wash, water, or sprinkle (a person or thing) with or as if with a hose
    Like Keith, I associate it with cooling down someone or something - so I wouldn't normally use it for the lawn. I think also that hose down means to wet completely (well, for me it does).
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Just to add an American perspective, hosing down anything simply means to make it thoroughly wet – and the water will be under pressure, which should come as no surprise with a hose. :) The idea of sprinkle doesn't work for me.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'd only hose down the lawn if there'd been a demolition next door and it was covered with fine debris, or if it was full of dog waste, in other words to clean the surface just as I'd hose down the yard.
    That was my reaction too:).
    I see about 10,000 hits of "hose down the lawn" on the internet,
    (By the way, if you click through to the last page of google results, there are only about 90 hits for "hose down the lawn", some of which relate to artificial turf.)
     
    Last edited:

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I always immediately think of cleaning with the expression "hose down" (like rinsing the mud, sand or soap off something) - until a fraction of a second later, the context rears its ugly head and I realize something else is meant.

    (Sorry, not sure if that's AmE or BrE input)
     
    Last edited:

    wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you very much, Keith, sound shift, GF., velisarius, PaulQ, natkretep, Copyright, Loob and Julian!
     
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